Immigration Law

Immigration law questions? Ask an immigration lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I'm a UK citizen, currently working in the US, in

I'm a UK citizen...

I'm a UK citizen, currently working in the US, in California, as a Software Engineering Manager under an L1-A visa. My visa can be extended as far as 2020, and I'm also currently applying for a green card which is approximately another year out from being approved. I have a wife who is also working here under an L2 visa.A few months ago, I started building a side-project (with no revenue or profit, a totally free service). I've been working with another engineer, a US citizen, who has 50% co-ownership of the project. Recently, the project has been gaining some momentum, and we're talking about the possibility of applying for investment.This puts me in a difficult position, as my L1-A visa only allows me to be employed by my current company. So my questions would be:- Can I contribute (or act as an advisor) to the company, while not being employed by it?
- Does my equity in the company (currently 50%, likely to be diluted with any investment or new employees) pose any problems for me if it starts collecting revenue or turning a profit?
- If the above pose problems, is it possible to create an agreement that my equity only vests to me once I've gotten a green card?
- Is there any other means for me to contribute as much as possible, without taking any salary, and without jeapordizing my current visa status or green card application?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the U.S. government?

No, right now this is just a side project, not a registered company.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about the visa?

No.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, thanks

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Immigration Law Question
Answered in 12 minutes by:
3/19/2018
Edward Young
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 341
Experience: Principal Attorney at The Law Offices of Edward D. Young, III
Verified

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. I would be happy to provide assistance. Please give me a few minutes to formulate a response. Also, please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

Ask Your Own Immigration Law Question

Question 1: Can I contribute (or act as an advisor) to the company, while not being employed by it? Yes, you can contribute money to the company but your role can only be passive. You can be a shareholder and a director, but don’t become an officer, employee or independent contractor of the business or do any additional work for it.

Question 2: Does my equity in the company (currently 50%, likely to be diluted with any investment or new employees) pose any problems for me if it starts collecting revenue or turning a profit? No, you ay make financial investments that, hopefully, will generate financial gain, provided that the investments are entirely passive in nature and not the result of working. It would be possible to invest in a private company, as long as the only role of the individual is as a passive investor.

Question 3: If the above pose problems, is it possible to create an agreement that my equity only vests to me once I’ve gotten a green card? If you are truly a passive investor, I do not see any problems that your investment would cause.

Question 4: Is there any other means for me to contribute as much as possible, without taking any salary, and without jeopardizing my current visa status or green card application? There is one other option that I can think of. You might seek to become an E-2 treaty investor. With premium processing, you could get approved quickly but I do not know how it would affect your pending green card application. Here is a link to immigration experts that can help you decide whether this E-2 treaty investor option is good for you, or whether you should just be patient for another year until you get your green card: http://www.immi-usa.com/e2-visa-processing-time/

I hope this helps. Please go ahead and rate me. If you have any follow-up or clarification questions, please ask! There is no additional fee. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service (hopefully Excellent/5 stars!) at the top of the screen. Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating! A BONUS is also appreciated if you feel I've earned one today.

Ask Your Own Immigration Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
while I'm a "passive investor", what would count as "additional work?" -- would I be able to:a) Help decide the direction of the company, either as a business or the technical direction?
b) Make any decisions around who to employ, or help with any interviews?According to this page: http://www.immi-usa.com/h1b-holder-start-business/ "an H1B holder can start a business and also work for it" providing certain conditions are met -- do those conditions apply to L1A also, and would they enable me to do actual work for the company without being employed by it?

There are certain start-up activities that you can engage in, as you can for an H-1B. Many of the activities related to founding a startup are not considered “work." This includes forming the legal entity, investing and receiving returns on your investment, negotiating contracts, signing leases for office space, signing contracts with vendors or clients, pitching to investors, etc. You are free to do things of this nature for your startup while still on your L-1A from your employer. If you want to be involved in things like day-to-day operations, making decisions about who to hire, helping with any interviews, and product development, you cannot do those things on an L-1A visa.

Please go ahead and rate me. I get no credit for my work for you until you do. If you have other questions about my answers, feel free to ask. There is no additional charge.

Edward Young
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 341
Experience: Principal Attorney at The Law Offices of Edward D. Young, III
Verified
Edward Young and 87 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now

Thank you so much for the 5-star rating! I know rating takes an additional step and I truly appreciate you taking the extra time! It's been my honor and privilege to help you with this. If I can help you in any way in the future, I'll be happy to help. For easy access, my bookmark is: https://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-visaspecialist/ Or, simply request “Edward only” in the first line of your question.

Ask Your Own Immigration Law Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Edward Young Your Own Question
Edward Young
Edward Young
Edward Young
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 341
341 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Principal Attorney at The Law Offices of Edward D. Young, III

Edward Young is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

3,990 satisfied customers

Private practice in several areas, including immigration

Wilton A. Person

Wilton A. Person

Immigration Lawyer

3,597 satisfied customers

Knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer.

Law Girl

Law Girl

Lawyer

451 satisfied customers

My law firm practices immigration law.

Gintare Grigaite

Gintare Grigaite

Immigration Attorney

186 satisfied customers

Expert Immigration Attorney

TheLeadCounsel

TheLeadCounsel

Immigration Attorney

17 satisfied customers

Immigration and Naturalization

Charlotte E. Viener, Esq.

Charlotte E. Viener, Esq.

Lawyer

12 satisfied customers

Over 10+ years handling all aspects of Immigration Law.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Immigration Lawyer

48,466 satisfied customers

10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Immigration Law Questions
I am currently on an L-1A visa, and am terminating my
Hi there I am currently on an L-1A visa, and am terminating my employment and visa on the 29-Apr-2018. On the same day, I will be leaving the US to officially "exit the country". On the 01-May-2018, I… read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
If an illegal immigrant is placed into the removal
if an illegal immigrant is placed into the removal proceeding (assuming they didn't commit a crime), what would be some things that would persuade the judge not to deport the immigrant?… read more
Jenny Imm Law
Jenny Imm Law
Immigration Attorney
Doctoral Degree
4 satisfied customers
I would like to consult with an immigration lawyer about
I would like to consult with an immigration lawyer about giving up my green card and the likelihood of paying taxes on exit … read more
Jenny Imm Law
Jenny Imm Law
Immigration Attorney
Doctoral Degree
4 satisfied customers
L obtained a card through immediate relative petition last
Hi, l obtained a green card through immediate relative petition last August but my marriage is falling apart. Also, will l have trouble traveling outside of the US and returning since I've seperated w… read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
I was asked to be an interpreter for someone's immigration
I was asked to be an interpreter for someone's immigration interview. I read on the immigration website that there may be some restrictions for family members or friends but didn't see any restriction… read more
Expert James
Expert James
Doctoral Degree
11,982 satisfied customers
I have I applied my Application Under "EB 1A" category for
I have I applied my Application Under "EB 1A" category for Alien with extra ordinary ability on March 2017. My I-485 and I-140 both was received in March 16,2017 and Noticed was April 04,2017. Its bee… read more
jludwic
jludwic
Manager
J.D.
19 satisfied customers
I have questions about filing an O-1A status. Not yet
Not yet working on it I am a current F-1 students and wants to convert to O-1 currently invented an application. … read more
Jenny Imm Law
Jenny Imm Law
Immigration Attorney
Doctoral Degree
4 satisfied customers
Case # src1490020920 i have not get my wife green card as
case # ***** i have not get my wife green card as yet gut need to if some wrong … read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
My son need an application for green card. Not yet. My son
Good morning, JA: Hi. How can I help? Customer: My son need an application for green card. JA: Have you filed any paperwork with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) yet? Customer: ye… read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
Wilton I have a question about H1B and green card. My
Second opinion] Hi,WiltonI have a question about H1B and green card. My situation is like this:My OPT supposed to end on 06/09 this year, but my company filed H1B and my case got selected in lottery. … read more
jludwic
jludwic
Manager
J.D.
19 satisfied customers
My wife and I went to our interview for a green card. We
For Guillermo: My wife and I went to our interview for a green card. We were told that because we used my wife's maiden name (the one on her passport) on our I-485 application, they would have to do a… read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
My boyfriend has received his green card a few month ago, if
My boyfriend has received his green card a few month ago, if I file a domestic violence complaint against him will he be able to keep his green card?… read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
I have a question about H1B and green card. My situation is
Hi,I have a question about H1B and green card. My situation is like this:My OPT supposed to end on 06/09 this year, but my company filed H1B and my case got selected in lottery. So OPT was extended to… read more
Expert James
Expert James
Doctoral Degree
11,982 satisfied customers
Do I need to renew my Green Card if it was issued between
Do I need to renew my Green Card if it was issued between 1979 and 1988 but does not have an expiration date? … read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
I am a new green card immigrant. I worked 3 days for a
I am a new green card immigrant. I worked 3 days for a painting job but had to quit because of the commute and unpredictable schedules. They owe me $309 but will not pay me. I have been there 6 times … read more
Expert James
Expert James
Doctoral Degree
11,982 satisfied customers
If im a derivative asylee and applied for green card but the
If im a derivative asylee and applied for green card but the princpal asyle havent applied for green card yet wil i get my green card … read more
Leena Kamat
Leena Kamat
Juris Doctor
101 satisfied customers
I have extended my L-1A visa. On form I-129 I have marked
Hi, I have extended my L-1A visa. On form I-129 I have marked Continuation of previously approved petition and Extend the stay of each beneficiary... Last year the US Embassy issued an L-1 visa for me… read more
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer
Juris Doctor
48,466 satisfied customers
I do qualify L-1A. to carry on a start up duties of the
I do qualify L-1A. to carry on a start up duties of the company i just established in USA and own. L-1A or E-1 will be better for someone starting off w/t highly technical but lest cash requiring serv… read more
jludwic
jludwic
Manager
J.D.
19 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x